BRADFORD CITY manager Stuart McCall is keeping his fingers crossed that first-choice goalkeeper Colin Doyle will receive the green light from the Republic of Ireland to feature at MK Dons tomorrow afternoon.
A league ever-present this season, Doyle is required as cover as Ireland’s third-choice goalkeeper on the bench for this evening’s World Cup Group D home qualifier with Moldova.
The Dubliner had been released to feature for Bradford following his initial call-up to the Ireland provisional squad for internationals last month, but a rib injury to Sheffield Wednesday’s Keiren Westwood means that the 32-year-old is now required as cover tonight.
Ireland will travel to Wales on Sunday ahead of their final qualifier in Cardiff on Monday evening, with City hoping that Doyle will first be allowed to feature at MK Dons.
Should Doyle be ruled out, rookie German Lukas Raeder will be handed a Bantams debut, with regular No 2 goalkeeper Rouven Sattelmaier out with a hamstring injury.
Raeder, who started his career at Bayern Munich, has not played a senior game for 21 months since appearing for Portuguese outfit Vitoria Setubal in a 4-0 defeat at Boavista in January 2016.
On the situation, McCall said: “If Colin is allowed to come back and it suits everyone, then great.
“If not, we have no problem playing Lukas.”
Third-placed Bradford are seeking to preserve an unbeaten away league this term as they head in to tomorrow’s game in Buckinghamshire at a venue where the visitors have fared well in recent times.
The Bantams, whose last away league defeat came at Sheffield United on April 17, have won on their past three league trips to Stadium MK, although McCall admits that his side are catching their opponents at a potentially tricky juncture.
McCall added: “They have only lost one in nine and have a couple of players back now, so look a bit stronger.
“Going into the season, they would have earmarked top two possibly, but definitely top six with the squad they have got.
“(But) I have done all right at MK Dons over the years. I remember winning in the FA Cup there against Paul Ince’s team and obviously got a good result last season.
“We know it is going to be another difficult game, but we have got good momentum and belief in the group and our away form has been strong up to now.”